It's a Wrap!
With just 4 hours to go, I'd like to thank all my backers for their outstanding support, and I'd also like to thank my volunteer support team - my exceptional wife Mary, and Paul, Peter, Nabil, and Sam for their significant contributions and support, as well as my buddy Mike.
If you've missed the Kickstarter cameras and want one, contact me through www.pinholeprinted.com on the Contact form and let me know if you want a Flyer or Clipper (panoramic). I will get back to you about printing some more after the Kickstarter rewards have shipped.
Please bookmark the following - I've been too busy to put much content on these at present, but as I shift off Kickstarter, I'll be posting more information and I hope you'll post your photos and share your experiences as well. Updates for Kickstarter backers will still come through here.
- Twitter - @pinholeprinted
- Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pinholeprinted
- Google+ - https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/112210063823673129193
- Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/groups/pinholeprinted/
- Pinterest - http://www.pinterest.com/pinholeprinted/
- Youtube - http://www.youtube.com/user/pinholeprinted
For 3D printing enthusiasts, the files and kits are available, or you can get photos or just back my project. It may only be a dollar, but every backer is an additional encouragement to continue my work.
For photography enthusiasts, I have sold out of the Flyers that I'm making for Kickstarter (see Update #7).
Do keep an eye on the pledges, though. Occasionally someone cancels and you might get lucky.
All Stretch Goals Hit!
Funded in 13.5 hours - that is awesome for a photography project! We have also hit all the stretch goals.
Cubify 3D Printing Fans & Fun - this one is my favorite - Tom Meeks talks about using the lessons from my basket of test cameras to help at-risk students
What is Pinhole Photography?
“Pinhole, Printed” is a modern take on an old photographic technique. I have a passion for pinhole cameras. Like most other photographers, I have switched to digital cameras and never looked back – except for pinhole photography.
Pinholes offer a unique perspective on the world that I can't get with lenses or digital cameras. I have been taking pinhole photographs for many years, almost always with cameras I have made myself. In some cases, I have taken existing camera bodies and radically modified those to take various film backs.
Landscapes and water are two of my favorite subjects - the long exposures of a pinhole camera lead to smoothly flowing water, almost like mist, that capture and retain motion and flow in a still photograph. Pinholes also offer extreme depth of field, and very near subjects are as focused as subjects in the far background. I find that, no matter how I envision how a photo will come out, I am often surprised with the result. Some of my best photos have been accidental or unplanned. Using a pinhole camera unlocks a tremendous wellspring of creativity and experimentation.
CAD Design and 3D Printing
One characteristic of all my previous pinhole cameras is that they were either handmade from cardboard or wood or metal cans, or they involved considerable modification to existing film cameras. In other words, they were difficult to reproduce and not easily shared. The closest I came were my Holga modifications, which reached page 1 rank on Google for that topic. The website is gone, but lives on at http://web.archive.org/web/20120817024221/http://www.argonauta.com/html/holga_cameras.htm and a few of my previous pinhole pictures can be seen there.
Since I got my Solidoodle 3 printer (the same one I will use to produce your camera), I have been designing and printing pinhole cameras. There's something really cool about using the latest technology to produce such a simple no-technology camera. Now that I can share my experiences with a reproducible camera, I'd like to introduce you to your Flyer camera and to the magic of pinhole photography.
Flyer is my first 3D printed pinhole camera. It is printed in ABS and designed to be robust and light. It takes a 6cm x 6cm square image, 12 exposures to a roll of 120 film, just like a Hasselblad. It can be mounted to a tripod and it has a flip shutter that is really easy to use. The field of view is 70 degrees with an f/stop of 133.
The camera is incredibly simple to use. It can be loaded and used in less than 30 seconds out of the box.
- Flip up
- Flip down
- * Picture taken *
The reward levels are chosen and carefully limited to ensure I can print the cameras on schedule. All the Flyers have a "K" on the top plate, base, and shutter lid. After the Kickstarter program ends, the "K" will be removed from the cameras. Only backers will have the Kickstarter edition.
$10 is not a lot - but it means a great deal to me! It means you are backing my efforts and enabling me not only to take more pictures, but also to develop more camera designs - one of which might interest you later! For this, I will choose among my best pinhole photographs and reproduce 3 frameable 5" x 7" photos with my thank you letter.
Printing your own? You can get just the STL files and printing instructions ($20). However, be sure to consider getting the kit ($29) - there are parts in there that are hard to find in single quantities - pinhole, O-rings, red window, screws. For these parts, you have to order 100 at a time or entire sheets of gel. The pinholes are precisely manufactured and harder to get. I'm ordering in bulk if this project is funded, so the kit saves you time, money, and makes it easy.
The STL files will not have the "K" designation, so the only way to get a Kickstarter camera is to get one of the following rewards.
The Limited Kickstarter Edition camera ($39) puts you at the front of the line to get your photos on Flickr and out for the world to see, and to show others what can be done with Flyer. The complete assembled Limited Edition cameras are limited to 15, sure to be collector's items with the accompanying certificate.
Miss the Limited Edition? Not to worry, the Kickstarter Edition Flyers ($49, $400) are available, and you get the complete assembled camera.
I'm sure some of you have taken pictures with film and moved on to digital and some of you have only used digital cameras. Why film for pinholes?
Film is analog and has an ethereal quality that digital cameras don't have. For the same reason that pure audiophiles favor old vacuum tube amplifiers, artistic photographers prefer film. For other types of pinhole cameras, such as panoramic cameras with curved backs, there is no digital equivalent.
Film is available, and there is a wide choice of film and processing options. You will get two rolls of 120 medium format film, the kind used by professional photographers, with your camera, and there are several labs you can send it to. If you use B&W film, you can process that safely at home. This camera will open new doors for your creativity!
What's been done...
Over 35 iterations of CAD design, printing, and tweaking. I've gone through 4 spools of filament and several major changes, and I'm getting close.
Why I am asking for your backing
- Finalize design and printability of Flyer
- Film & processing for exposure tables and reference photos
- Development of additional cameras
I still need to produce a number of cameras for testing - not just to take pictures but also to ensure the designs are fine-tuned for printability. This will take several spools of filament. One spool produces about 9 Flyer cameras. I've already gone through 4 spools and I feel I'm very close. I have other designs too and I will be applying what I learn on this one to those designs and would like to bring those to you at a later date, especially the panoramic version, which is my favorite.
I also need to develop the exposure tables you will need for taking pictures. For example, you will need to open the shutter this long for this ASA film under this lighting condition, etc. It is not like using a normal light meter - film has a logarithmic response and reciprocity failure, and the f/stop of a pinhole is generally too high for any light meter. I want to get the exposure tables close enough that you can expect to get reasonable pictures out of your first two rolls. To do this, I need to go through about 40-50 rolls of fresh film and processing at around $15-18/roll.
There are a few items I need to buy in quantity, such as film and pinholes. And lots of filament. My printer will be running full time to make your cameras. And, of course, you can print your own - you can get rewards with just the STL files, or get the STL files along with a camera. Even if you have a 3D printer, you might want to get started with a camera to post your pictures early while printing more for your children and friends as a Christmas present.
Help me get there! Pass the word, tell everyone you know to come look at my project. Support my goals to bring you Flyer and future printable camera designs!
Share your results on Facebook, Flickr, Google+
I need to put these cameras into your hands and learn from your experiences as well.
When you back this project, you'll be invited to the Flickr group "Pinhole, Printed". Anyone can see the photos, but only backers and owners will be able to post here. As a Kickstarter backer, you will be first in line. Let's see what we can show the world!
Updates will be posted only here on Kickstarter, of course. For related discussions, head over to the Facebook page or Google group:
- Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pinholeprinted
- Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/112210063823673129193
( Checkmark, Question icons attribution - http://www.vistaico.com/)
Risks and challenges
I have been shooting pinhole photographs since I built my first 6x16 panoramic pinhole camera. Since then, I have built numerous pinhole cameras and developed my own exposure tables for each, and I've taken my cameras from Labrador to Antarctica, shooting thousands of photographs. I have a lot of experience with pinhole cameras and what works and doesn't. For this project, I have designed new cameras that can be 3D printed and I have already been testing them, but I have not yet developed the exposure tables for these.
I have already gone through around 35 CAD design iterations of the Flyer 6x6, printing and testing many of them on my Solidoodle 3. I am confident of the Flyer 6x6 operationally and feel I am close on printability but I will need to print more to be certain. I will be using the same printer to produce the Kickstarter cameras. Like any 3D printer, it has had fits and I have upgraded parts to improve the printer. It is running smoothly at present and I don’t expect major problems, but if they occur, I am confident I will be able to fix them or find an alternate printer so that backers do not experience undue delays.
The exposure tables simply require time and film processing to establish the best settings for different lighting conditions. I have done this many times, and will also be looking into various iPhone and Android apps.
There are no outside supply requirements other than filament, pinholes, common hardware, film, and packaging materials. I am printing the cameras myself. I have a source for the pinholes. Black ABS filament and the hardware used are readily available. While film choices are dwindling, 120 remains a common and popular professional film, and many choices remain. I will be ordering all materials when funded, and I foresee no difficulties here. I have limited the pledges to what I can handle. If it appears that there is great demand, I will consider getting another printer and adding more rewards.
- (30 days)